Ulysses S. Grant in Command
While looking through some “sexually explicit” images related to the Civil War I came across this interesting collection by artist, Justine Lai. The artist is based in San Francisco. Lai has this to say about her first Online exhibit titled, “Join or Die”:
In Join Or Die, I paint myself having sex with the Presidents of the United States in chronological order. I am interested in humanizing and demythologizing the Presidents by addressing their public legacies and private lives. The presidency itself is a seemingly immortal and impenetrable institution; by inserting myself in its timeline, I attempt to locate something intimate and mortal. I use this intimacy to subvert authority, but it demands that I make myself vulnerable along with the Presidents. A power lies in rendering these patriarchal figures the possible object of shame, ridicule and desire, but it is a power that is constantly negotiated.
You can find the rest of the collection here. Of course, if you are easily offended or of Puritan descent I would refrain from clicking through and move on. Although I don’t find this to be that interesting, I am always struck by the ways we choose to remember our collective past. I guess it gives new meaning to the widely held belief that the public is constantly getting screwed by the government.